Home U.S GrubHub is sued for adding 150,000 restaurants to its platform without their...

GrubHub is sued for adding 150,000 restaurants to its platform without their permission


GrubHub is being sued for adding 150,000 restaurants to its platform without their permission, in a move business owners claim has caused ‘significant damage to their hard-earned reputations’ by slowing down service and getting customer orders wrong. 

Two restaurants filed a class-action lawsuit in Chicago against the food delivery platform this week, accusing Grubhub of adding ‘non-partnered restaurants’ to its app and website in order to boost its share of the industry and take on rivals DoorDash and Uber Eats.

The Farmer’s Wife in Sebastopol, California and Antonia’s Restaurant in Hillsborough, North Carolina claim Grubhub’s actions have caused ‘significant damage to their hard-earned reputations, loss of control over their customers’ dining experiences, loss of control over their online presence, and reduced consumer demand for their services.’ 

While the restaurants have suffered from the unwanted partnerships, Grubhub has ‘reaped immediate dividends’ at their expense, the suit states.  

GrubHub is being sued for adding 150,000 restaurants to its platform without their permission, in a move business owners claim has caused 'significant damage to their hard-earned reputations' by slowing down service and getting customer orders wrong

GrubHub is being sued for adding 150,000 restaurants to its platform without their permission, in a move business owners claim has caused ‘significant damage to their hard-earned reputations’ by slowing down service and getting customer orders wrong

The lawsuit explains the strategy can create a number of problems for the restaurants and their reputations by slowing down service, making mistakes in orders and bombarding restaurants with too many orders.

The tactic means when customers order food from a non-partnered restaurant via Grubhub, the order hasn’t actually yet been placed or received by the eatery.

Instead a Grubhub delivery driver must then contact the restaurant and place the order.

This causes delays in the restaurant getting the order and, in turn, the customer receiving their food, the suit claims.

It also allows for mistakes to be made in the order being manually redone by the delivery driver – mistakes the restaurant often shoulders the blame for, it claims.  

‘[The order] goes instead to a Grubhub driver, who must first figure out how to contact the restaurant and place the order,’ the suit reads.

‘Sometimes it’s possible to place orders with the restaurant by phone, but other times the restaurant will only accept orders in person. 

Two restaurants filed a class-action lawsuit in Chicago against the food delivery platform this week, accusing Grubhub of adding 'non-partnered restaurants' to its platform in order to boost its share of the industry and take on rivals DoorDash and Uber Eats. Pictured The Farmer's Wife in Sebastopol, California (above) - one of the two restaurants in the suit

Two restaurants filed a class-action lawsuit in Chicago against the food delivery platform this week, accusing Grubhub of adding ‘non-partnered restaurants’ to its platform in order to boost its share of the industry and take on rivals DoorDash and Uber Eats. Pictured The Farmer’s Wife in Sebastopol, California (above) – one of the two restaurants in the suit

The Farmer's Wife and Antonia's Restaurant in Hillsborough, North Carolina (pictured above) claim Grubhub's actions have caused 'significant damage to their hard-earned reputations and loss of control over their customers' dining experiences'

The Farmer’s Wife and Antonia’s Restaurant in Hillsborough, North Carolina (pictured above) claim Grubhub’s actions have caused ‘significant damage to their hard-earned reputations and loss of control over their customers’ dining experiences’ 

‘The extra steps often lead to mistakes in customers’ orders and often the restaurant won’t receive the order at all.’ 

The suit also says Grubhub doesn’t warn restaurants it is listing them, meaning they can find themselves faced with an influx of orders they are unable to fulfill.    

The two eateries also claim Grubhub violated federal trademark law by using restaurants’ names and logos without their permission.  

CEO Matt Maloney admitted using the controversial tactic last year

CEO Matt Maloney admitted using the controversial tactic last year 

The claimants are asking that Grubhub end its practice of adding non-partner restaurants to its platform, ‘turn over its ill-gotten gains’ to companies and pay damages.   

Grubhub’s bosses have previously admitted to carrying out the controversial strategy. 

Last October, CEO Matt Maloney announced a trial to add restaurants to its database without entering into an official partnership with them to increase restaurant options on its site and deter customers from going to competitors.

It’s a strategy – used by other food delivery platforms – that has come under increasing scrutiny of late. 

In September, California banned the practice meaning from January 1 2021 companies will need written permission from restaurants before featuring them on their platforms.

Grubhub said in a statement at the time it was in favor of the measure because it would ‘level the playing field, help restaurants better control where and how their food is delivered, bring lower fees to diners, and improve food delivery operations for everyone involved.’

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